This NBA season more than ever seemed like there were teams that purposely have set themselves up to lose. This was in order to tank for one of the best predicted draft classes in years. These teams keep winning though. We will look at how they keep winning and how they tried to set themselves up to lose.
The Jazz traded away nearly their entire starting roster from last season. Their two All Stars in Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert were traded and Royce O’Neal and Bojan Bogdanovic were also dealt. This left them with minimal talent. The remaining group and then new additions have proved to work pretty well together though. Utah set themselves up to not be good this year so they could rebuild. Their veterans have been great and the young players have been good compliments. They started 3-0 and now they are 5-2.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder have not been good since they got rid of Chris Paul. From there they were expected to be in tank mode. After winning to begin the season they decided to rest Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. This was an obvious tank move to try to lose some games. They started out 0-3 but now are 3-3.
The Pacers have been a mess in the past few years. They have moved on from players like Paul George, Victor Oladipo, Domontas Sobonis, and Malcolm Brogdon. Now they have Tyrese Haliburton, and that was thought to be about it this year. Indiana probably didn’t anticipate rookie Bennedict Mathurin being this good though. They have started the season 3-4.
Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shai_Gilgeous-Alexander_(51815871018)_(cropped).jpg